Assistance Needed.

What you see is what you get, including photography, displays, and video equipment.

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Assistance Needed.

Postposted on Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:52 pm

I am not a frequent poster on TR (although I visit religiously every day and have been a member for a while), so I feel a bit apprehensive about making this request.

I've been interested in photography for a very long time, but only really seriously started pursuing it about 4 years now. I now use a Pentax K7 and a variety of lenses. When I bought a Pentax K10D in 2007 I knew almost nothing about SLRs save what I had researched. As a result I ended up buying into a system with great value for money, but flawed in other ways. I am a hobbyist, so professional needs are not relevant to me.

Anyway, I was in Scarborough in Canada at the beginning of the new year for the birth of my daughter and decided on the spur of the moment, on Jan 1, to start a 365 project. That is, I must take a picture every day for a year. I believe that already my skill level has increased. I've been back in Guyana since the end of February.

The one thing I have been lacking is criticism. I have a few faithful viewers keeping my company, but I tend to get a lot of complimentary comments from the people who comment regularly. It is incredibly encouraging to have those comments but I would like some more, critical (but not mean spirited) commenters.

It is a huge favour to ask anyone, I am quite aware of this. I made a similar post on another forum, but while there have been a lot of visitors, there have been few commenters. It is incredibly motivating to get even a "good shot" post, and it is very hard to maintain motivation. I haven't take my photo for today as yet and feel no motivation to do so (and that, in itself ironically, has motivated me to make this post).

Even if you decide merely to go look at a few pictures it is likely you will see a part of the world you have never seen before (except for the 2 months I spent in Canada). I don't think you will be wasting your time by checking it out.

Thanks in advance if you do.

My 365 project is here:
http://photography.ramkarran.com/365
It is updated to Sunday. I've taken Monday's shot, but haven't uploaded it as yet (P.S. Sorry about all the crappy shots taken in Canada, I was largely house bound so had to get "creative" at times).

If you have the time or inclination you can have a broader look at my photography here:
http://photography.ramkarran.com (I take a lot of photos of people on the street).
sliknik
Gerbil
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2002 2:52 pm
Location: Guyana, South America.

Re: Assistance Needed.

Postposted on Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:38 am

sliknik: Thanks for sharing your work with us! I love your sense of composition (#2, 24, 58, 79, 113), perspective (#21, 26, 29, 103) and exposure (#30, 32, 49, 85). You have real skill in presenting the mundane in very interesting ways, and to lead the eye to make your pictures very interesting.

I like the way you use shapes and textures (#45, 76, 80, 88), and also the way you PP your colours and lighting levels.

It looks as though the 365 project is already paying off, because while your work has always been good, the earlier pictures feel more studied and controlled, and feel a bit more static and formal, whereas the later works seem to take you outside of your box - not always 100% successfully (if I may be presumptuous), but definitely in a way that will (and has) improve your photography.

What don't you like about the Pentax? The K7 may not be as good at high ISOs as the K-x, but I've always been envious of the fantastic primes that Pentax has - I use a 40 year old Pentax SMC-Takumar 50/1.4 as the main portrait lens on my Panasonic GF1, for instance. The thought of the DA Limited and FA Limited lenses puts me in a state of geeklust :p

At the end of the day, though, it's not the tools that make the photographer, but the talent, and you have that in spades. Thanks again for sharing, your pics made my evening. :D
Wind, Sand and Stars.
Voldenuit
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2453
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:10 pm

Re: Assistance Needed.

Postposted on Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:47 pm

Voldenuit, I appreciate your very detailed and considered response. It is clear you spent a fair bit of time on my photos and I am grateful.

First, let me be clear. I am very new to photography. 5 years at the most (although I have been a dabbler for a much longer time). Your telling me that I am not always successful is far from presumptuous. While I don't like personal attacks, I am very open to criticism.

Having given freely of your time, I am hesitant to ask, but if you have a moment I would be pleased if you can cut and paste your comment into my site wherever suits you best. Perhaps the guestbook for the 365 project? I'd like to preserve it as part of the site so it becomes a bit easier to refer back to it.

Gear:
I use the K7 and previously used the K10D. I warmed to the K7 in a way that I never warmed to the K10D, it fits better in my hand, the controls seem to be more attuned to the way I take photos and the picture quality is as good as I need. I shoot exclusively in RAW (Adobe Digital Negatives) as I don't need the speed or convenience of JPEGs and I like the latitude that RAWs give me in processing.

I've seen the discussions regarding the supposed superior output at high ISO of the K-X, but I've never used it, so I would hesitate to give an opinion. As it is I am satisfied with the output of the K7 up to ISO1600. For me, it is a matter of choices. I wouldn't use ISO1600 to take a photo of foliage with a lot of detail. I'd use it at night when I shoot handheld (I expect, and like a bit of grain).

In the largest print I've made from the K7, 20x30, the quality has been good. For a technical purist I suppose the output must be perfect in every way. Maybe if I ever go commercial I'd want more.

As far as lens go, I have no references as I've never used any other system. But I certainly think that Pentax glass is as good as anyone else's. I've got a couple of gems, the 31mm ltd and the 43mm ltd. Each of them is amazing in its own way, but I love the rendering of the 43.

For an extended period the 31 was the only lens I used. It sees the way I see. But the rendering of the 43 is magical at times.

These days I use 2 zooms almost exclusively DA*16-50 and DA 55-300). I walk in some bad areas and it doesn't do to stand still for too long changing lenses :) Besides I've formed a sentimental attachment to the 31 and the 43 and, although I have insurance, I wouldn't want to lose them.

I bought the K10D (and into the Pentax K-mount) because when I researched digital SLRs I did it as a computer geek and looked for the best value for money. Knowing what I now know, I might have made a different choice. But I don't really regret it.
sliknik
Gerbil
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2002 2:52 pm
Location: Guyana, South America.

Re: Assistance Needed.

Postposted on Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:09 pm

Yes, feel free to quote, copy or paste. Look forward to the rest of your 365 project!
Wind, Sand and Stars.
Voldenuit
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2453
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:10 pm


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